Report card time for Betsy DeVos -- and more than 700 parents give her an ‘F’
ON SEC. DEVOS’S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY, MORE THAN 700 PARENTS OF TRANS CHILDREN CONDEMN HER FAILURE TO PROTECT STUDENTS: In a letter to DeVos, the parents, speaking for the thousands of families of transgender children across the country, write, “Our children are at a significantly increased risk for depression, anxiety and suicide. Sadly, the discrimination that causes this distress emerges even among professionals who are tasked with educating the next generation and preparing them for the world. We will not have our children left behind and their lives put at risk as a result of this bigotry.” The letter, signed by parents from 47 states and Washington, D.C., was organized by HRC and its Parents for Transgender Equality Council, a coalition of the nation’s leading parent-advocates working for equality and fairness for transgender people. More from HRC -- and read Greg Toppo’s (@gtoppo) report at USA Today.
HRC RESPONDS TO PUBLIX’S DECISION TO ADD COVERAGE FOR PrEP TO EMPLOYEE HEALTH PLANS: Said Mary Beth Maxwell, Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training at the Human Rights Campaign: “It is a positive step forward that an employer as large as Publix will now offer PrEP to its employees as part of their health care coverage. Publix has locations predominantly in the South, where HIV disproportionately affects the population, making this decision all the more impactful and necessary.” Publix reversed its decision to deny PrEP coverage after pressure from HRC, other advocates and elected officials including Florida State Rep. Carlos Smith. More from The Miami Herald and HuffPost.
After urging from @HRC and advocates, @Publix will now offer PrEP, a once-daily pill regimen that can help you stay HIV-negative, to its employees as part of their health care coverage. https://t.co/jFkvF7ww7n— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) February 6, 2018
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WEDNESDAY -- TRANS FATHER LOSES JOB AFTER TAKING TIME TO CARE FOR NEWBORN: After their daughter was born, Brett and Chad didn't have any paid family leave, and one dad lost his job for taking time off to care for their baby. It's time for paid leave for all families. More from NewNowNext.
CALL YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS - State bills to keep on your radar!
TODAY IS NATIONAL BLACK HIV & AIDS AWARENESS DAY: According the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Black/African Americans are disproportionately affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. If trends continue, one in two Black gay and bisexual men will contract HIV in their lifetimes. Black transgender women have the highest percentage of new HIV-positive test results when compared to other transgender women. More at HRC.
OPENLY GAY OLYMPIC SKIER GUS KENWORTHY CALLS OUT PENCE: On The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) said this about Mike Pence leading the U.S. Olympic delegation: “So many people have paved the way, but then to have someone leading the delegation that’s directly attacked the LGBT community… It just seems like a bad fit, and I feel like the Olympics is all about inclusion and people coming together, and it seems like it’s not really doing that.” More from Pink News.
THREE TRANSGENDER PEOPLE SUE ALABAMA FOR RIGHT TO CHANGE GENDER MARKER ON DRIVER’S LICENSES: The suit, filed by the ACLU, challenges an Alabama policy that forces transgender people to prove they’ve undergone gender affirmation surgery before changing their gender markers. More from BuzzFeed.
7TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HEARS ARGUMENTS IN LGBTQ HOUSING DISCRIMIATION CASE: Marsha Wetzel, 70, alleges she was harassed and assaulted at her Chicago-area senior living center because of her sexual orientation. The 7th Circuit previously determined that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII. More from The Associated Press.
MUST READ TWITTER THREAD FROM HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE (@SARAHEMCBRIDE) ON EPIDEMIC OF VIOLENCE AGAINST LGBTQ PEOPLE:
GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS
LGBTQ COMMUNITY IN SENEGAL UNDER ATTACK: President Obama raised this issue during a visit in 2013, but the Sengali government has continued arresting and attacking LGBTQ people. More from The Daily Beast.
READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!
Quartz interviews HRC Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff Joni Madison; Los Angeles Blade reports that an LA couple raised $300,000 to support the University of Tennessee’s defunded LGBTQ center; The Daily Beast speaks about the significance of Coca-Cola’s non-binary-inclusive Super Bowl ad; The Local SE highlights transgender YouTube star Viktoria Harrysson’s powerful journey; Quartz interviews transgender trailblazer Janet Mock (@janetmock)